Friday, February 10, 2012

Beauty & the Beast: "First Impressions" (Chapter One)

I always hated walking into a movie late. So just in case people join in late and are unaware of the impetus and context for "my courtship story", I'm posting them but also compiling them in chronological order as I go in a separate tab labeled "Beauty & the Beast" above. Enjoy. Yes, enjoy my misery....
U of Illinois Quad
It was the fall of 1994. The excitement of beginning another school year at the greatest institution for higher learning (the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) had begun. The leaves were ablaze with vibrant colors. The skies were a wide expanse of an ocean hue. And the crisp and unmistakable smell of.....cow dung was in the air. Yes, we both lived at F.A.R.(located just north of the "South Farms").

I was a junior and she was a freshman that year. And although we lived in the same dorm, strangely we never had any opportunities to meet. We both regularly attended Christian fellowships, but Kim went to InterVarsity and I went to CFC (Covenant Fellowship Church). Like most Korean-Americans – while we did not know each other we knew of each other. 

My First Impression of Kim

There was another guy that lived in my dorm from St. Louis that was a freshman. His name was Fred. I kind of looked out for him since I knew he didn’t really know anyone and he was a fellow Missourian. Well, one day I hear his buddies teasing him:

Buddy#1: Hey Fred…Kim called!!! *snicker*

Buddy #2: Oooooohhhhh…Kim called! Hahahah! *snort* Hahaha!

Fred: (turning red) Ahhh…shut-up!

Buddy #2: You shut-up!

Buddy#1: Yeah, you shut up!!

Buddy #2: No! You shut-up!

I didn’t listen to the rest of the conversation for fear it would have made me dumber. But my first impression of Kim was that she was a “playah”. You know...a "man-izer" (opposite of a "womanizer"). You of those girls that liked to call guys, hang out with guys, be noticed by guys - a girl that was exceptionally beautiful…and knew it. Not that I thought of her as being a bad person – but honestly, that was my first impression and so any initial interest in her simply was not there. I couldn't stand girls that I thought were full of themselves. When I tell Kim this story now she gets indignant and says I was so wrong because she was just being nice to Fred and was only returning his phone call. 

Kim's First Impression of Me
Honda Elite 80 
When I was a junior I had this hot motorcycle I used to cruise the campus with. Ok, in actuality, it was just a little scooter. But make no mistake, this baby was eighty CC’s of raw, unbridled power. With one flick of my wrist it would make girls swoon.

I didn’t care that it sounded like an annoying mosquito – it had enough seat for two – i.e. me and one lucky lady. So, the first time Kim ever saw me was when I whizzed by on my scooter in front of FAR. I’m pretty sure this is how she envisioned me:

I honestly don’t remember seeing Kim. I was probably preoccupied praying or doing something really spiritual at that moment. Anyways, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 

  • Don’t call guys incessantly. The "good ones" (haha) will think you're "boy-crazy" and dismiss you like "bad cheese".
  • Don’t live at FAR. When the wind blows north you cannot escape the smell – and guys are stupid when they see something and smell something at the same time they cannot disassociate the two. (i.e. guys will think of cows when they see you)
  • Don’t fall for the first guy that whizzes by you in a scooter. I know it worked out for Kim but that’s like one in a million.
  • Try not to snort when you's very unbecoming.
  • Live at FAR. When the wind blows north you learn to appreciate all of God's creation.
  • Get a scooter with over 80 cc’s. No one likes mosquitoes.


  1. Thanks Peter. I'll have to use these pointers on a date night tonight with Annie.

    Praise God that He is a redeeming God!

    Not just praying for Kim, but praying for you too Peter - that you will continue to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.

    But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you. Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. --2 Corinthians 4:7-18 ESV

  2. oh, peter! haha! i was smiling the whole time reading this. :D i'm so happy you are together. you guys were meant for each other. ah, so blessed!

  3. You're so lucky she still married you!! Ha ha

    I really appreciate that Kim is still smiling. Shows an internal strength like no other.

  4. LOL...Love your blogs. Missed a whole weeks worth due to flu but ALL caught up! We love that you guys are sharing your lives with reminds us of all the blessing we continue to receive from our loving Father. It is so encouraging to hear all that you all have been going through and allows us to stnad strong again whatever we are faced with (which is so minimal). We love the way He is working through you to talk to us. Thanks again for allowing us to be a part of your lives. We will continue to lift you all up in our prayers.

    I recently quoted below and wanted to share...
    "Where there is a strong and wise man, there is a stronger and wiser woman behind him."

    Thank God Kim looked past your mosquito of a scooter!

  5. I love stories of how couples met and got together! :) Praying for Kim to feel better! Also, our daughter, Kirsten has been lifting your family in prayer at her Voices Youth group at St Thomas and also at the Palatine HS Uprising Youth Group.

  6. LOL! I met my husband Rich at FAR in Cham-bana too! Way back...hundreds of years ago when we were there...the dorms were divided. I was in Trelease, the women's dorm and he was in Oglesby, the guy's dorm. He was a hot-shot RA with a fake British accent in his 2nd or 3rd senior year. (I've lost track!) I was a mere innocent sophomore Illini Guide, sweating like a pig (probably smelling a lot like the south farm air). I was helping people move in doing thousands of trips loading up carts, up and down the elevators, moving in new students on a HOOOOT August day. He was walking around looking at everybody! It was love at first sight--for him! Not for me. Couldn't stand the guy! I remembered briefly meeting him during my freshman year. He was chasing after a hot, tall blonde and was using the fake British accent then too! She didn't fall for it either! Somehow my heart softened to him in the next few weeks and I agreed to go out with him. Maybe it was the cow dung in the air making me crazy! On our first date we went roller skating on campus. Hundreds of years ago that was the popular thing to do. We would rent skates in campus town and go skating on the quad. This was even before the days of in-line skates, mind you. Within minutes, I had fallen down. I don't know how far that man dragged me before he realized I was dead weight behind him! It will be 29 years of marriage for us in July. That man is the love of my life and the fake British accent is gone! YAY! We live the life of adventure and dependence upon God. We have an adult daughter with autism and deafness. The moral of the story: God uses cow-dung air to prepare you for anything!!!
    He will sustain you as He has sustained us. He is so faithful. Praying for both of you and your kids. Love you,

  7. Grace Kohng VanMaanenFebruary 11, 2012 at 8:08 AM

    I must agree with Tola...I was smiling the whole time I read this entry...of course, my smile turned into fits of uncontrollable laughter, too. Kim as a "playah?!" Somehow I don't think big cousin Bernie would've allowed it. haha! Kim, I've got your back, are totally justified in your indignation! All I can say is, I'm so glad you guys found each other. Thanks for loving Kim so well, Peter! :)